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Senate Democratic Co-Sponsors Abandon Green New Deal, Vote 'Present'

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Today, the United States Senate voted against advancing Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal resolution to the Senate floor for debate and a final vote. 42 Democratic Senators and one Independent, including all of the resolution’s Senate co-sponsors, voted “present” on the motion to proceed (also known as a cloture vote). All 53 Republicans, three Democrats and one Independent voted against it.

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“Today’s Senate vote on the Green New Deal has revealed that the 12 Democratic sponsors who courageously voted present are only interested in favorable green PR and are not serious. For those who truly believe that there are only twelve years to save the planet, the Senate sponsors of the Green New Deal are missing in action and cannot be counted on.”

CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said:

“Senate Democrats resort to crazy talk when they call the vote on the Green New Deal a ‘sham.’ What if, following the Green New Deal press conference, Leader McConnell had told the American people he would never, ever allow a vote on the resolution?  Would the resolution’s backers have cheered McConnell for saving them from their own ideological excesses? More likely, they would have denounced him for trying to keep Americans in the dark about climate change.

“Voting yea or nay on the record is the heart of the legislative process. The real sham is what 42 Senate Democrats and Bernie Sanders did—grandstanding for the Green New Deal to mobilize their radical base while colluding to hide their different viewpoints and levels of commitment by voting ‘present’ as a bloc. Think of it this way. If bloc-voting ‘present’ on controversial issues were business-as-usual, the world’s ‘greatest deliberative body’ would be a complete farce.

“The Green New Deal is not a statute but a mere vision statement in the form of a non-binding resolution. It is gutless even by Beltway standards for Democrats not to take a stand on a high-profile policy statement that all their presidential candidates have co-sponsored.

“Democratic leaders and their media allies fault McConnell for using the Green New Deal as a ‘political ploy’ to ‘divide Democrats.’ But who drew first blood? The Green New Deal is itself a political ploy to recruit climate activists for their 2020 campaigns.

“The Green New Deal’s sponsors exhort us to pay any price, bear any burden, to combat climate change. But when given the chance to show their dedication to the cause, voting for their own bill is somehow too great a sacrifice. It doesn’t get much Swampier than that.””

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